FRIENDLY: NEWPORT 0 MANSFIELD 2
Newport County 0 - 2 Mansfield Town
Kyle Perry 43, 48 pen
Attendance: 558 (approx 150 from Mansfield)
Date: 18 July 2009
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Video highlights here
Stags fan video of Kyle Perry's penalty -->
News from the Stags camp on Saturday night was that Kyle Nix's injury was not as bad as feared, and he has a badly bruised leg.
Boss pleased with Stags' victory in Wales
Evening Post website, July 18, 2009
MANSFIELD boss David Holdsworth was pleased with his side's performance as they eased to a 2-0 victory in their opening friendly at Newport County.
Kyle Perry marked his debut with a goal in each half, first slotting home Gary Mills' through pass and then converting a penalty after Gary Silk had been fouled.
“It was an excellent work-out and I would like to thank their chairman, my brother (Dean, the Newport manager) and Newport for having us,” said Holdsworth.
“They are a good side and my brother is putting together a good squad with some good players.
“I don't take anything more from the win because it happened to be against my brother – I always want to win.
“You don't get points from these games but it is nice to get off to a good start.”
Mansfield are waiting to hear on Kyle Nix's diagnosis after the midfielder went to hospital after suffering an ankle injury.
But Holdsworth is hoping that Roby Duffy's thigh problem is not too severe.
He said: “It didn't look good with Kyle, but we are hoping for positive news.
“I was a little bit late, but you are going to get comings together and these things happen.
“We had an extended warm-up for this game and I don't need players injured so I took Rob off as a precaution.
“We will have to wait and see with him for Tuesday, but even if not hopefully it will only be a few days.”
Holdsworth praises Stags after solid Newport win
CHAD.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS boss David Holdsworth described striker Kyle Perry's first goal as a "Premier League finish" and paid tribute to the rest of his squad following their 2-0 win over Newport County.
A sweetly finished strike by Perry and a well taken penalty either side of half-time were enough to see off Dean Holdsworth's Blue Square South side and cap a solid team performance by Mansfield in their first pre-season game.
The only sour note on an otherwise positive outing for Stags was the withdrawal of Rob Duffy as a precaution after he picked up a slight thigh strain and Kyle Niks being taken for an x-ray after he bruised his metatarsal in a challenge with a Newport defender.
Speaking after the match, which featured every Stag player except Steven Istead, boss Holdsworth said: "It was a good workout and a hard match against a good side and I was pleased with how it went.
"Gary Mills showed his abilities with that excellent pass for the first goal, Scott Gardner looked good throughout.
"Kyle Perry looked excellent today and showed real coolness in finishing the first goal, if that had been a Premier League player today people would have raved about the finish.
"He also battled really hard throughout. There were some good displays out there today.
"It didn't give me any more pleasure today beating my brother than beating anyone else. No matter what the game is I want to win it and I am happy to have won here today and kept a clean sheet.
"It is really pleasing that drills we are working on in training is paying off and all the hardwork the players are putting in is being rewarded."
Holdsworth will now be hoping to carrying that winning mentality into Tuesday night's mouth-watering friendly against Leicester City.
Added Holdsworth: "Leicester City will be a totally different game with totally different challenges. They will have better players that people have heard of, but we want to win and I believe that we can win this game.
"We are still learning about each other as individual players and as a team. We will go into the Leicester game in a professional way and give it our very best."
Holdsworth toys with new formation
DAVID Holdsworth believes playing three up front could help Mansfield pick up more points on the road this season.
The Stags won just five Blue Square Premier games on their travels in the whole of 2008-09, which ruled out any hopes of a top-five finish.
But the Stags were 2-0 victors at Blue Square South club Newport County on Saturday employing an unusual 4-2-1-3 formation.
And boss Holdsworth insists it is a tactic that could become commonplace as the team bid to improve their points yield away from Field Mill.
"We went 4-2-1-3 at Newport and we were quite shallow up front in terms of there wasn't too much width," he said.
"But when you have the pace and height that we have available, it stops the opposition's full-backs getting out.
"And with every ball being contested with their centre halves, it allows Nixy (Kyle Nix) or whoever in the hole space to play. It gives us the chance to pick up the second ball.
"We all know we like to play 4-4-2 at home, but away there will be times when we will definitely adopt this, because it is hard to battle against.
"Plus you still have the likes of Daryl Clare to come off the bench, who is not a bad substitute to have at all."
Holdsworth was delighted with the input of his new players at Newport after less than a month with the club.
He said: "Kyle Perry produced a wonderful finish for the first goal. If it had been an Arsenal player, everyone would have been describing it as world-class.
"He battled hard for us and the goals will be a welcome boost for him.
"(On trial) Jason Bradley did really well too and we will have to see if he stays. I never judge anyone on one game, but he is a good lad and wants to learn.
"Gary Mills knows when to go in and when not to go in and he showed his flair with a wonderful pass for the first goal.
"He is an excellent player and will only get better and I thought Luke Jones also started well.
"All the boys looked fit and well and there were some very good displays out there."
Nix had to go to hospital with an ankle injury but it turned out to be badly bruised, while Rob Duffy (thigh) also came off.
Both are doubts for tomorrow's home friendly with Leicester City.
Perry shows he means business
IT took less than an hour of Mansfield's first pre-season friendly to establish there is more than one Perry who means business at Field Mill this season.
Every Stags supporter knows the ambition of chairman Andy, whose No1 goal is to get the club back into the Football League.
But namesake Kyle looks to be just as driven in his quest for success – certainly if his Mansfield debut in South Wales is anything to go by.
Few, if any, of those who made the trip to Newport would have known what to expect from the striker, newly-acquired from Port Vale.
But after seeing him bag a brace against County, they now know the very least the 23-year-old has in his locker is the ability to score goals.
At 6ft 4ins, Perry is always going to be pigeon-holed as a target man – and the early indications are that he can win his fair share of headers and hold the ball up effectively.
Yet his finishing is likely to prove just important over the coming months if the Stags are to prosper. In that regard, the former Walsall trainee could not have wished for a better start with a well-taken double.
When the openings did materialise, Perry needed no second invitation with clinical strikes either side of half-time.
His first came thanks to a pinpoint 40-yard crossfield ball from Gary Mills that sent him racing clear into the penalty area.
Without hesitation, Perry picked his spot and, first time, he guided the ball wide of advancing keeper Glyn Thompson. It was a finish that was as adroit as it was confident.
The second half had hardly settled down when the Mansfield fans and Perry were celebrating again.
This time he faced a much more straightforward task – slotting a penalty neatly into the left-hand corner after Gary Silk had been tripped in the box by Martyn Giles.
Perry could have grabbed a hat-trick, but he was denied inside the box by a smart block from Thompson.
Still, the frontman could be well satisfied with his efforts before being replaced by Daryl Clare.
Perry, though, was not the only new boy to catch the eye. There were encouraging performances from other debutants too. Jason Bradley – still playing for a possible Mansfield future – did well, although he missed a gilt-edged one-on-one in the closing minutes that would have raised his stock.
Craig Armstrong performed at left-back with the minimum of fuss, as did second-half replacement Paul Heckingbottom. In the middle, Luke Jones in the first half and Luke Graham in the second, missed very little.
And in goal, substitute Tim Sandercombe took a couple of crosses with the aplomb that suggests he can be an able deputy for Alan Marriott.
Perhaps the most significant first impression was made by Mills, who, according to Holdsworth, is a similar player to last season's loan signing Ollie Hotchkiss, but with experience.
Taking the skipper's armband, the central midfielder showed a hunger and determination to win the ball back when not in possession.
And once he had the ball, the former Stevenage man knew exactly what to do with it.
There was, however, some disappointment, with Kyle Nix and Rob Duffy both sustaining injuries.
It was a particular shame for Nix, who had started brightly and struck the bar with a thunderous left-foot shot.
Even so, manager Holdsworth was rightly satisfied with the outcome – and not just because it saw him come out on top against his brother Dean, boss of Newport.
There may be no points at stake in pre-season friendlies, but getting off to a winning start is never going to harm self-belief.
Mansfield's next clash at home to Championship Leicester City tomorrow night will, of course, be an entirely different proposition.
County loser in Holdsworth battle
South Wales Argus
MANSFIELD manager David Holdsworth pulled rank on his twin brother, Dean, as his Blue Square Premier side had the edge from both a physical and football perspective.
But the County boss, who is not a fan of friendlies, was not too despondent as he knows there is plenty more to come from his charges.
“Mansfield are full-time and working every day gives you a little bit of an edge in fitness, but I felt we were more than a match for them in the first half and were a little unlucky to go in a goal down at half-time.
“There were a lot of good things to come from the first 45 minutes and it was a really good exercise.”
With Nathan Davies still sidelined and Wayne Turk probably a week away from fitness, Holdsworth will have Scott Rogers back for Tuesday's friendly at Caldicot, which will be a relief because County cannot hope to compete with physically strong and capable sides like Mansfield without a holding midfield player.
Rob Duffy, who was hugely disappointing during his time at County in the first half of last season, wore the captain's armband for the visitors, for whom he scored nine goals after leaving Newport under a cloud.
But he still failed to give County fans the slightest glimpse of his talent, departing proceedings after just 10 minutes, enabling the Stags to introduce impressive trialist Jason Bradley.
Former Team Bath skipper Gary Warren made his first appearance in a County shirt after playing for British Universities, and he lined up alongside captain Aaron Cook at the back while another former Team Bath player, Takumi Ake, livened up a disappointingly small crowd which was boosted by a large Mansfield contingent.
Dean Holdsworth said: “I thought Gary did well and Takumi is going to be a big favourite with the fans.”
Kyle Nix looked useful for the visitors and he rattled Glyn Thompson's crossbar before picking up a knock which caused the exit of the former Manchester United and Aston Villa youngster on a stretcher.
Cook, Martyn Giles and Sam Foley were all close to putting County in front before a crossfield pass from Mansfield's Gary Mills provided the chance for Kyle Perry to produce a very good finish to give Mansfield a 43rd-minute lead, though Danny Rose was desperately close to sending the sides in level with a trademark free kick which hit the bar.
Three minutes into the second half Giles made an ill-timed tackle on Gary Silk and referee Paul Rees awarded the penalty which was neatly struck home by Perry for his second goal.
The match then became little more than a procession of substitutions and Mansfield always looked to have the edge.
The match at Caldicot on Tuesday will kick off at 7.30pm and not at the original scheduled time of 7.45pm.
County: Glyn Thompson, Ali Gibb (Matt Smith 66), Martyn Giles, Kris Leek (Josh Hartridge 68), Aaron Cook, Gary Warren (Gary Colborne 80), Danny Rose (Tom Piotrowski 89), Sam Foley, Craig Reid (Scott Armitage 53), Dave Gilroy (Ricky Manship 58), Takumi Ake.
Mansfield: Alan Marriott (Tim Sandercombe 82), Gary Silk (Scott Gardner 57), Scott Garner (Luke Graham 74), Luke Jones, Paul Heckingbottom (Craig Armstrong 71), Gary Mills, Matthew Somner (Jonathan D'Laryea 57), Kyle Nix (Ryan Williams 30), Kyle Perry (Daryl Clare 63), Louis Briscoe, Rob Duffy (Jason Bradley 10).
Referee: Paul Rees. Attendance: 558.
Newport 0 Mansfield 2
Evening Post website, July 18, 2009
TWO-GOAL Kyle Perry helped Mansfield to victory in their first pre-season friendly at Newport – and allowed David to beat Dean in the battle of the Holdsworth twins.
The lanky striker struck in the closing stages of the first half and the early stages of the second to put the Stags in a commanding position – one they were to never relinquish.
It marked an impressive debut for the man signed from Port Vale this summer and should act as a confidence-booster ahead of Tuesday's visit of Leicester City to Field Mill.
The most disappointing thing from a Stags point of view was injuries to first Rob Duffy and Kyle Nix, the second looking serious.
Mansfield had posed the first serious threat in the fifth minute as Matt Somner picked out Louis Briscoe down the inside left channel, but he failed to pick out a pass when he would have been better off trying a shot.
After just 10 minutes, the Stags were forced into a change as Duffy made way for Jason Bradley.
Moments later, Craig Reid headed just wide for Newport from Danny Rose's free-kick, though he was ruled offside.
Mansfield were un lucky not to go in front in the 18th minute as Kyle Nix took a right-wing throw from Gary Silk, slipped past his marker and unleashed an angled left-foot drive that crashed off the bar.
There was more misfortune for the Stags when Nix also had to be replaced on the half hour, by Ryan Williams, after falling heavily as he had a shot deflected wide.
Nix left the stadium on a stretcher accompanied by medical staff.
But the Stags were buoyed when Perry took his chance superbly to bring the life the visiting fans to life.
The big striker raced onto a 40-yard diagonal ball from Gary Mills to stroke a first time finish beyond the advancing Glyn Thompson two minutes from the break.
Almost immediately, Bradley was denied a second, by the legs of Thompson, as he this time latched onto Ryan Williams' pass.
And, as most the action came in the final throes of the half, County's Danny Rose curled a free-kick against the left-hand angle in stoppage time.
But any nerves the Stags might have had going into the second half were instantly dispelled as they quickly doubled their advantage in the 48th minute.
Gary Silk was tripped by Martyn Giles as he advanced into the right-hand side of the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Perry stepped up to place his kick just inside the left-hand post as Thompson guessed the other way.
As Mansfield went in search of a third, Perry released Bradley, whose cross into the area was cleared by a Newport defender against the fast-arriving Somner to drop just past the left-hand post.
The visitors went close again when Bradley headed for the right-hand corner following a free-kick and Thompson did well to push the ball around the post.
Just past the hour mark, Perry made way for fellow striker Daryl Clare not long after Matt Somner and Gary Silk departed the scene to be replaced by Jonathan D'Laryea and Scott Gardner.
Former Leeds man Gardner was soon in trouble as he ploughed into Rose late and was shown the yellow card.
But the young full-back redeemed himself in the 65th minute with a last-ditch tackle to deny Scott Armitage when the substitute looked set to score.
Both sides continued to ring the changes before Marriott and Gardner combined to thwart Ake on the edge of the box.
With the game moving into the last quarter, Briscoe got away down the right but his cross to the far post was just too high for Bradley.
Mansfield should have scored a third with five minutes to go as Aaron Cook's short back bass let in Bradley.
But he almost had too much time on his hands and Thompson spread himself well to block the resulting low finish.
Newport: Thompson, Gibb (Smith), Giles, Leek (Hartridge), Cook, Warren, Rose (Piotrowski), Warren (Colbourne), Foley, Reid (Armitage), Gilroy (Manship), Ake. Subs not used: Blackburn, Maynard.
Mansfield: Marriott (Sandercombe 82), Silk (Gardner 57), Garner (Graham 73), Jones, Armstrong (Heckingbottom 71), Somner (D'Laryea 57), Mills, Nix (Williams 31), Perry (Clare 61), Duffy (Bradley 10), Briscoe. Subs not used: Istead.
Referee: Paul Rees.
Newport County 0 Mansfield Town 2, Saturday 18th July
CHAD.co.uk, 18 July 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
A BRACE by the impressive Kyle Perry gave Stags a deserved 2-0 win against Newport County in the 'Battle of the Holdsworths' on Saturday.
Perry confidently stroked home a one-on-one with the Newport goalkeeper just before half-time, before showing further coolness in front of goal as he stroked home a penalty right at the start of the second half.
From that point on their was only ever on winner as Stags grew in authority and confidence to create further chances to extend their lead at The Newport Stadium.
It was the perfect start to the club's pre-season campaign, with Stags' work-rate and defensive solidity certain to have met the approval of boss David Holdsworth.
The fixture was also the perfect work-out with every Stags player apart from Steven Istead get a useful run out in the team.
Mansfield will now hope to transfer their good form into the mouth-watering Field Mill friendly against Championship side Leicester City on Tuesday night, before they travel to Alfreton Town on Saturday.
Stags boss David Holdsworth handed out a number of debuts and named a strong side ahead of the big battle with his brother's Newport County side.
Amongst the debutants against the Blue Square South outfit was former Forest midfielder Craig Armstrong and new signings Luke Jones and Kyle Niks.
There were also places in the starting line-up for regulars Alan Marriott, player-of-the-year Gary Silk and dangerous strikers Louis Briscoe and Rob Duffy.
Darly Clare, winger Ryan Williams and Steven Istead were named on a very strong looking bench.
And it was Stags who had the first opening on five minutes when Matt Somner slipped the ball inside from the left to Louis Briscoe.
The striker then jinked and turned in the box but, with the Mansfield faithful expecting him to unleash a piledriver towards goal, he elected to pass and the move trickled to nothing.
Stags received a blow after ten minutes in the goalscoring department when they were forced to substitute Rob Duffy for Jason Bradley after he appeared to pick up a knock in a challenge in the early stages.
The visitors again came closest to opening the scoring on 20 minutes as Kyle Niks cut inside well from the right wing to power a thunderous left foot strike firmly against the woodwork with Thompson stranded in the Newport goal.
And the lively Niks caused further problems to the Newport defence as he nearly opened the scoring just before the half hour mark.
Niks showed great positional sense to latch on to a loose ball right on the edge of the box and was unlucky to see his fiercely hit drive whistle just a yard past Thompson's post.
It was a brave and also final effort for Niks, who picked up a heavy knock as a Newport defender rushed out to charge down the drive forcing him to leave the field - Niks went to hospital for treatment on a bruised metatarsal the club's official website mansfieldtown.net later reported.
The so far quiet home side had their first sniff at the Stags net on 34 minutes when defender Martyn Giles failed to connect with an inswinging centre from Ali Gibb.
And just two minutes before half time Stags finally took the lead after Mills split the Newport defence with a precise long-range pass through to Perry.
He then finished with complete coolness as he fired home first time past the helpless Thompson.
It was nearly double delight for Perry moments later when he almost latched on to a speculative long ball out from the Stags' defence.
But with the ball dipping from a great height over his shoulder Perry was unable to get his timing right and he fluffed his effort harmlessly along the turf.
Newport came agonisingly close to levelling the tie in first half injury time when Danny Rowe sent a 25 yard free-kick crashing against the Stags bar with 'keeper Marriott seemingly unsure whether to make a save or watch the ball sail over.
But both the crossbar and the Stags lead stayed in place as Mansfield Town headed to the dressing room in control of the friendly fixture.
And they were left in total control of the game just three minutes after the re-start when the rampaging Gary Silk was hacked down by the trailing leg of Martyn Giles just inside the right corner of the box.
The confident Kyle Perry then stepped up to stroke home the spot-kick and send the keeper the wrong way to score his and Mansfield's second.
It was nearly a three-goal lead seconds later when Brisoe failed to get on the end of a flowing move involving Perry and strike-partner Jason Bradley.
Williams then warmed Thomspon's hands with a low hit strike from distance on 52 minutes as Stags began to assert their growing authority on the fixture.
With the game all about personal fitness levels rather than glory the impressive Kyle Perry was denied the chance to bag a hat-trick and was replaced by Daryl Clare on 61 minutes.
Newport should have cut the lead on 65 minutes after Takumi Ake did well to reach the ball right on the Mansfield by-line after Stags had given the ball up.
He cut the ball back superbly to Scott Armitage in acres of space, but with the goal gapping his touch let him down badly allowing Gardner to nip in and clear the danger.
Newport failed to capitalise on their near miss as a flurry of substitutes from both sides between 65 and 75 minutes began to disrupt the rhythm of the game.
Stags should have extended their lead on 86 minutes when Jason Bradbury went clean through on goal after a defensive slip by Aaron Cook.
But the goal at his mercy Bradbury seemed to lack the confidence and fired a weakly struck finish straight at the advancing Thompson.
The home side battled gamely in the final five minutes in search of a consolation goal, but they proved no threat to the well protected Alan Marriott as Stags held on for a solid 2-0 win.
NEWPORT COUNTY: Thompson, Gibbs, Giles, Leek, Cook, Warren, Rowe, Foley, Reid, Gilroy,Ake.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott, Silk, Armstrong, Garner, Jones, Somner, Mills, Niks, Perry, Briscoe, Duffy. Subs: Heckingbottom, Sandercome, Bradley, Williams, Istead, D'Laryea, Clare, Gardner.
Latest | July 2009